Tag Archives: Education

Dan meets Kate in The Circle - screenshot from All 4

When the catfish wins, everyone loses

I’m so gutted for Dan! He seemed like the one straight-up, trustworthy guy on Channel 4’s new reality show, The Circle (screenshot above). But Dan got nothing but public humiliation while his fellow contestant, Alex (aka “Kate”) walked off with the £75,000 prize.

In case you missed the show, which ended last night on Channel 4, here’s a summary: 8 contestants are holed up in an apartment block for 3 weeks, only able to communicate with each other via social media (using a specially made platform called The Circle). Every day they “rate” each other: the highest rated contestants become “influencers” and choose another contestant to “block” – or expel.

Fatal attraction

Dan and Kate quickly became friends, but Dan is being fooled. Kate is a catfish: she’s not a girl with a sweet face at all, she’s a “social media comedian” called Alex. At the end of 3 weeks, the highest-rated person wins. That person ended up being “Kate” (in part thanks to Dan’s consistently high ratings).

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Tiger boy by David K

15 content ideas for primary schools on Twitter

I’m chatting to one of my local primary schools about using Twitter. Like many organisations, they’ve set up a feed, but don’t seem quite sure why they’ve done it or how to make the most of it.

Twitter is a great way to connect with the surrounding community (hyperlocal publishers are always great sharers of local content) as well as a means to get your school noticed by the wider educational establishment. Twitter lists are a good way to keep tabs on local media and education experts.

But what should primary schools actually tweet about? Here are some ideas:
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The revolution will not be televised…but it will be brought to you by #Techmums

Techmums T3[This post was originally published on the Techmums blog.]

I just got back from two amazing days at Google Campus – training to be a #Techmums trainer.

In case you haven’t heard or read about it yet, #Techmums is a new initiative from Dr Sue Black (the mum of 4, computer scientist and self-proclaimed “cheeky geek” who’s become a bit of a household name after saving Bletchley Park from demolition a couple of years ago).

Sue wanted to do something to help change the image of computer science in the UK, and she decided to start with mums – because they’re key to children’s safe and savvy use of technology, but all too often know little about computing.

After running a successful pilot in Tower Hamlets last summer, Sue and her team raised enough funding to roll out the #Techmums programme to other schools in the South East.

To deliver the programme – which consists of five x two hour modules taught over five weeks – at schools around Greater London and beyond, Techmums has recruited a new team of trainers: this week’s training course was the first opportunity for us all to get together.
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Back to school

My 4 year old daughter started school last week and there have been tears most mornings. My daughter’s teacher has told me we needed to do something about her “disruptive” behaviour. As we leave Lila forlornly in the classroom, screaming, it’s set me thinking about the whole “This is society, get used to it” thing.

I liked Fin Fahey’s Flickr picture because it sums up how I feel about the school: a gate sweetly inscribed “Girls & infants”, with graffiti and barbed wire all over it. The gate is padlocked and although it looks like this should be the entrance, it’s not at all clear how to navigate it.

It’s what business coach and facilitator Johnnie Moore refers to as the “come here now fuck off” approach. How many companies operate like this? Instead of making employees feel loved and cosy, they do just the opposite!

In Geneva last year I met a lovely man called Michael Parmly who told me to read Summerhill by A.S.Neill. I thought, this is a business presentation, why is he talking to me about education?

I’ve only browsed a few pages of the book but already I’m hooked. The basic underlying philosophy is that if you give children love and support and they will thrive; focus on results alone and you will alienate them.

I guess what Michael Parmly was pointing out is this: a little bit of love and freedom works wonders for all of us.